Expression of mucin synthesis and secretion in human tracheobronchial epithelial cells grown in culture.

R. Wu, W. R. Martin, C. B. Robinson, J. A. St George, C. G. Plopper, G. Kurland, J. A. Last, C. E. Cross, Ruth J McDonald, R. Boucher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


The effects of culture conditions on growth and differentiation of human tracheobronchial epithelial (HTBE) cells have been defined. Epithelial cells were dissociated from tissues by protease treatment and were plated on tissue culture dishes in F12 medium supplemented with insulin, transferrin, epidermal growth factor, hydrocortisone, cholera toxin, bovine hypothalamus extract, and retinol. HTBE cells did not express any mucociliary function (ciliogenesis or mucin secretion) on tissue culture plastic, but they could be passaged 3 to 5 times with a total of 10 to 25 population doublings. Cells from early passages re-express both these functions when transplanted to tracheal grafts. When tissue culture plates were coated with collagen film or collagen gel substrata, cell attachment and proliferation were stimulated. However, the expression of mucous cell function in culture occurred only when cells were plated on collagen gel substrata and vitamin A (retinol) was present in the medium. Mucous cell differentiation under optimal conditions was defined by ultrastructural studies, by immunologic studies with mucin-specific monoclonal antibodies, and by carbohydrate and amino acid compositional analyses of mucin-like glycoproteins purified from culture medium. These results demonstrate for the first time that HTBE cells can express mucin synthesis and secretion under appropriate culture conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-478
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of mucin synthesis and secretion in human tracheobronchial epithelial cells grown in culture.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this